We want to make the most of our last chance on Saturday.- Pepe Rivas

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Thursday, May 5, 2016.- The match against Cruz Azul is the last chance to classify to the Playoffs and Tigres doesn’t want to waste it. José Rivas, a defender for the felines, guarantees that they will go out onto the Azul Stadium pitch prepared to give their all, focused so as not to make mistakes in the defense and determined to finish against the opponent’s goal when they have the opportunity to score.

“(On Saturday we should) try to put what happened (in the tournament) behind us. I know people will say, ‘How can that be possible?’, but what we overlooked is behind us now, we have our last chance against Cruz Azul and we need to put our heart and soul into the match, the defenders concentrating on their job and as forwards finishing all the opportunities. It’s our last chance and we have to give our all,” expressed ‘La Palmera’ at the press conference in the Universitario Stadium.

Pepe acknowledged that all week long they have been analyzing in depth the strengths of this weekend’s opponent, and says that when playing against ‘the Machine’ (Cruz Azul) they need to do so very intelligently, aware of this team’s capacity and that they can’t give them any leeway at all since the consequences would be fatal.

“(We have to play) very intelligently, because this match is decisive. Wanting to win can throw both teams into confusion and then the other team can take advantage of this. I imagine they have already studied us too, watched videos like us and will come out onto the pitch with the same mentality as us. The opponent counts too and they, like us, also want to reach the Playoffs.

“We also prepared throughout the week for that (to defeat them), they also need to worry about defending, because we have the mindset and have talked about this a lot, we are all focused and fully aware of what this game means,” said the felines’ center back.

Rivas clarified that right now they are concentrating on the match against Cruz Azul and not on the team they could be facing in the Playoffs, and then confessed what it was that happened throughout the tournament that has put them in the position of fighting for a place in the final phase at the very last moment.

“They are very specific errors, we lacked balance, as defenders we failed to do things or were careless at times and that cost us matches, and when we allowed zero goals, perhaps the attackers could have been more decisive. It’s a balance, a loss for all eleven players, not the forwards or the defenders, like in the other tournament when we combined everything, we would allow zero goals or just one and they (the attackers) would score two or three, and now it is the other way round, ” he commented.

Tigres for a Better Future makes 530 dreams come true

The benefactors Rob and Patricia Scnheider, the first team and Tigres’ manager attended the ceremony in which Tigres re-endorsed 300 scholarships and awarded another 100 maintenance grants, 100 scholarships to study English and, in addition, 20 homes designated for renovation.

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA/ May 2, 2016.- In its two years of existence, the Tigres for a Better Future Foundation, which is devoted to creating opportunities for improved education and quality of life, has successfully supported the dreams of hundreds of students, benefitting, in this way, not only UANL students, but also their families and the community.

During the second activity period, the Foundation has re-endorsed the first 300 scholarships granted in 2015, with which university students who are academically outstanding, but face financial challenges, will be able to complete their studies with assistance for books, transportation and meals.

The Foundation, created in February 2014, works in conjunction with  the UANL Foundation in order to guarantee that the students who so require and who meet the academic performance conditions, will have the opportunity to make their dream come true of becoming professionals with the capacity to transform their own future as well as that of many others.

This year, apart from an additional 100 maintenance grants, the Foundation has been able to award a hundred scholarships for studying the English language online.

Furthermore, the spaces where ten students live have been remodeled and improved and, by yearend, another ten houses will be added to this achievement, to reach a total number of homes that offer better work and living environments to 30.

With this undertaking, not only the university students, but also their families will benefit from the efforts of the Tigres for a Better Future Foundation and its allies, including the fans who have participated by means of diverse strategies, such collection tins, the Tigre World Children’s Show, and online auctions of players’ items, among others.

“This involves a major effort by our sponsors and on our part in order to raise the funds needed to support so many deserving students and it gives us great pride to use Tigres’ image to fulfill our goal. Our aim is not personal gain for the club or the players, but simply to be able to contribute, to be a part of this support that will give so many young people the opportunity to complete their studies,” explained Alejandro Rodríguez , president of Club Tigres.

“I think that football is entertainment, fun, passion, its followers, but we have always held the belief that this must be translated into a social impact, since in this city football is a social phenomenon and we must be able to leverage this.”

The Technical Secretary of UANL, Carmen de la Fuente García, representing the University President, Rogelio Garza Rivera; the director of the UANL Foundation, Raúl Rangel; and Tigres’ manager, Ricardo Ferretti, accompanied Tigres at this event and as members of the presidium.

The actor and guest speaker, Rob Schneider, apart from being a well-known fan of the gold-and-blue team, has become a benefactor of the Foundation together with his wife, Patricia.

“I am very impressed with the Foundation. When Alejandro invited me and told me about the Foundation, he also broke my heart when I found out about so many talented, highly intelligent people who would like to have the opportunity to achieve a better life,” Schneider said into the microphone.

As part of the alliance with Tigres to make 530 dreams come true, the authorities were also joined by Juan Romero Torres, President of Cemex Mexico; Mauricio Doehner Cobián, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Enterprise Risk Management at Cemex; Dolf Van Den Brink, CEO of Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Heineken Mexico.

In addition, Ricardo Saldívar Escajadillo, CEO of  The Home Depot; Gabriela Rojas Jiménez, Director of the Bécalos Scholarship Program of the Televisa Foundation;  Alejandro González Quiroga, CEO of  Mexico Beverages, Arca Continental; and the Foundation’s new allies, Mauricio Coronado Quintanilla, CEO of Coflex, and  José Fernando Calderón González, COO of AlEn Industrial, were also present.

The eighth semester Social Work and Human Development student, Brian Isaí Saucedo Martínez, delivered a message on behalf of all his fellow students who have benefitted from a scholarship by the Tigres for a Better Future Foundation.

“When I was growing up, I sometimes heard rather unfavorable comments about my future, which at times made me feel angry and sad, but also drove me to show everyone that I could do more. I was helped by my teachers who encouraged me with their word and example to keep trying; they guided me and pushed me to enroll in high school and subsequently apply to the University, because they believed in me and in my capability, ” the young 20 year old stated.

“Today, thanks to you (presidium), the UANL Foundation and the Tigres for a Better Future Foundation, I am going to be able to complete my degree more easily and, when I graduate, I am going to contribute to society as well and become a teacher in order to support young people just as I was supported.”

The Tigres for a Better Future Scholarship provides students with support throughout their undergraduate and high school studies, while the remodeled houses will be a permanent mainstay for students’ quality of life.

Today, 530 dreams have come true, 530 goals have been fulfilled, but the aim of Tigres for a Better Future is to reach hundreds of students and for more companies to join our allies in order to consolidate the transformation and development that will assure a better future for everyone.

What is Tigres for a Better Future?

It is the Club Tigres Foundation, which, based on the institution’s social commitment and the far-reaching power of football as a tool for promoting peace, inclusion and social transformation, seeks to support and drive education and the quality of life of the community.  Tigres for a Better Future is assisted by the UANL Foundation in identifying and channeling the support to High School and University students who would benefit from this aid.

How can we join?

·        By becoming a participating enterprise

·        By promoting this initiative among family and friends

·        By purchasing the Tigres for a Better Future merchandise online

·        By participating in the Facebook auctions of players’ exclusive items

·        With monthly donations debited to your credit card

·        By depositing in the account 7007449666 of Tigres por un Mejor Futuro AC in Banamex, branch 7007

If you need a scholarship, please contact the UANL Foundation directly at the phone numbers 1340-4400 and 8329-4000, extensions 7937 (Mederos) and 5137 (Head Office).

We have another opportunity to classify.- Guido Pizarro

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Wednesday, May 4, 2016.- Hope is the last thing to die and Guido Pizarro, a Tigres midfielder, knows it. The Argentine believes that the felines have a good chance of reaching the Playoffs and hopes that this Saturday they will be able to step up and defeat Cruz Azul in the last fixture of the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura).

“There will always be pressure and I believe that we do have a chance, after what we have been doing hasn’t produced very good results, we have a chance to classify, which is what we want. They will undoubtedly be 90 very difficult minutes and we will have to play football well. Hopefully on Saturday we will have good day and we will classify to the Playoffs,” said the Argentine.

The ‘Conde’ doesn’t want to let his imagination run wild thinking about the Playoffs; he knows that they have to beat Cruz Azul in Mexico City first, displaying a similar type of football as in the match against Veracruz, reaching our opponent’s goal area, but realizing as many opportunities as possible.

“Undoubtedly, this is how it will be, we will be in control of the match, the protagonists, not letting them grow and indisputably endeavor to be decisive, generate goal opportunities with a difficult opponent, it will definitely be a dynamic match and we hope we can be decisive, so if we are in control and finish, we will have a chance,” the defensive midfielder emphasized.

The UANL player knows that Tigres has to go out onto the pitch at the Azul with a cool head, aware that they have 90 minutes to define the match, because the team they will be competing against has first-class players who can be dangerous in the counterattack.

“In recent times we have become used to being in the top positions, but we must have the capacity to understand that right now we are fighting for eighth place, knowing that we have to achieve a result on Saturday and I am aware that if we do achieve the result, the Playoffs are totally separate. There it’s hand to hand and, I think, we have a good chance, but to get there, we must do our best to win on Saturday,” he acknowledged after the training session at the Universitario Stadium.

For the ninth year running, Tigres has received the Socially Responsible Company Distinction

The Mexican Center for Philanthropy awarded this distinction to the Club, the first team in Mexico to obtain SRC certification, as of 2008.

MEXICO CITY | MAY 4, 2016.- For the ninth consecutive year, within the framework of the IX Latin American Conference for Socially Responsible Companies, the Mexican Center for Philanthropy  honored  Club Tigres as a Socially Responsible Company.

As a result of an ongoing commitment to incorporating into its daily activities respect for others, ethical values, quality of life, the community and the environment, in 2008 Tigres became the first Mexican football club to obtain the SRC award.

This award has been renewed on a yearly basis by complying with the established standards in the strategic areas of corporate social responsibility.

Over the past few years, the activities implemented by the Club to benefit the community have achieved an enormous impact, with programs such as “Tigres for Kids”, “Let’s team up for our city”, “Tigre World”, the Tigres Academies across Mexico, and in the United States and Chile, and a series of alliances to support over a hundred civic and social causes.

At the end of 2012, Tigres became the first Mexican football institution to obtain the Neutral Carbon distinction, which certifies it as the only team to date that measures, reduces and neutralizes the carbon dioxide emissions produced by its activities. In 2014, Tigres presented the Tigres for a Better Future Foundation, which supports university education and the quality of life of the community through the UANL Foundation, with the support of its principal strategic allies and the fans.

Tigres aims to win and classify to the Playoffs.- Nahuel Guzmán

ZUAZUA | Tuesday, May 3, 2016.- For the last day of the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura), Tigres is determined to meet the expectations they set for themselves at the beginning of the tournament, classify to the Playoffs and seek the League Championship once more. For this, Nahuel Guzmán, the felines’ goalkeeper, explained why the team wants to achieve this: “Out of necessity, obligation, commitment and responsibility”.

The goalie recounted the team’s good points in several of the League matches, in which they easily dominated their opponents, and mentioned that since the team repeats this formula for the full 90 minutes, it is highly likely that they will achieve a positive result.

“We have to endeavor (to win the game) in these 90 minutes or 95 minutes, however long it lasts, it’s our responsibility, we have to assume this responsibility involved in this last fixture of the regular phase of the championship.

“Trying to use these parts of the matches (in which they performed well in diverse games) and infuse all of them into the 90 minutes for the good of the group, for the good of the team, we know that by succeeding in our objective and earning the three points would lift our spirits up from one day to the next, increase our expectations, strengthen our confidence and we know all the results entailed in winning the match on Saturday,” explained the Argentine goalkeeper.

This Saturday, Tigres needs a triumph at Cruz Azul’s home in order to classify to the Playoffs, since this is the only possible result that would allow them to do so and, therefore, the felines’ player expects the match to be highly dynamic to give a good show and for the good of the team.

“We are fully aware that this is a decisive game for us as well as for Cruz Azul, who need the three points too so that they won’t have to depend any other results, and, hopefully, this will make for an intense, dynamic match. I hope it won’t be a slow game, let’s hope it will be dynamic and we all give a good show,” Nahuel commented.

In response to the question asked by the media about whether the prospect of facing the Rayados in the event that they classify to the Playoffs motivates them, he said that they need to assure their place first and not worry about possibilities.

“How people feel will always change depending on the results. Three and a half months ago we were all celebrating a championship and in this tournament we have modified a few things unintentionally. Perhaps it has been obvious that we overlooked some aspects as a team, we have changed a few things that weren’t helping us, so we have to go back to the basics in order to find our strength as a team once more,” explained the feline.

Gignac, surprised with Tigres and Mexican football

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Tuesday, May 3, 2016.- André-Pierre Gignac’s effectiveness in Mexican football is not just a matter of chance. The Frenchman is thrilled with the atmosphere he has encountered since his arrival in the city; the passion existing in the stands at the Universitario Stadium has won his heart; and, as a key point, he feels that his individual technique has improved in Mexico.

In an interview by the French bi-weekly magazine France Football, Tigres’ striker described what he likes best about the team and the football where he is currently playing, and also touched on topics related to the French national team.

“Each match is a fiesta with mariachis, fireworks, the constant support of the fans, even when we lose. Here, the ‘Volcán’ (Universitario Stadium) is always filled to capacity. 90% of the people come to the stadium wearing the club’s yellow shirt, men, women, children.  From Monterrey airport to my home, when I signed, there were about a thousand fans,” the forward explained.

Gignac says that in Mexico he found a style of play based on ball possession, similar to that of Spain, and faster marking that has allowed him to improve his individual technique.

“The level of play (in Mexico) is high and requires commitment. I am playing South-American style, but not aggressively as they do in Argentine football. Mexican football is based on possession, like in Spain, with a lot of ‘small’ players, which makes them very fast when facing an opponent.

“On the other hand, I also compete against 1.85-meter defenders, leaving little room for maneuvering. So there has to be contact. I’ve managed to improve in small spaces, to be more accurate in my control and my routines. In the last few games with the French national team, I hardly lost any balls and have become more skillful in my game,” André declared.

Gignac has scored 30 goals wearing the Tigres shirt and is currently contending for the top scorer title in Mexican football, with eleven goals keeping him in first place.

You can read more about this interview here: http://goo.gl/2TX3W7

We will be going all out to win and classify to the Playoffs.- Ricardo Ferretti

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Monday, May 2, 2016.- Tigres wants to win this Saturday at Estadio Azul and ensure classification to the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura) Playoffs, affirmed Ricardo Ferretti, the team’s manager, who acknowledged that he is uncomfortable with the their performance so far, since, given the quality of the players, they should not be fighting for eighth place in the competition.

Cruz Azul and Tigres will be competing this Saturday on Day 17 with a view to earning the last ticket to the Playoffs. They are currently in 8th and 9th places, respectively, in the General Table and only a victory would assure Tigres’ classification, so the team will be going all out for this result in Mexico City.

“(The light blues) have a slight advantage over us (one point more), but both teams need to win to guarantee classification. I think this advantage will allow them to handle things somewhat differently from the way we will be approaching the match, because they can classify with a draw but we can only do so with a win.

“Nevertheless, there’s not much difference between how we play at home or away, so I don’t think that now with the urgency of winning we are going to do anything illogical. We have to win and that’s what we aim to do,” said ‘Tuca’ in the press room at the Universitario Stadium, where the team trained.

The Brazilian was asked whether having to win on the last day in order to earn the last ticket to the Playoffs bothered him. He answered that what really annoyed him was that the quality of the squad was not reflected in higher positions in the General Table.

“Very few tournaments have been different from this one (seeking classification at the last minute). Even when we had a lot of points, we always resolved our situation in the last fixtures, so, for me, nothing much has changed. What does bother me is that given the quality of the players we are fighting for eighth place, which is uncomfortable for all of us. I think we have a team that should be in the top, not the bottom, spots so this situation is very unpleasant for us,” acknowledged the manager who has become a naturalized Mexican citizen.

‘Tuca’ Ferretti indicated that a lack of equilibrium has been the team’s main issue during this tournament, in which they have struggled to balance the defensive and offensive zones, a situation that ultimately cost them many points and led to their current unpleasant position.

“One thing we have been lacking in this tournament is balance. This irregularity is due to our lack of balance. There have been times that we’ve scored goals but received too many, and that’s how we have performed throughout the competition. Therefore, if there’s something that the team urgently needs in this match, it is a balance between the defense and the offense. If we can achieve that, then we will have a greater possibility of a positive result and, consequently, of classifying,” the strategist declared.

One point from a goalless draw puts Tigres in the Playoff classification zone

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, April 30, 2016.-  Tigres sought to achieve a victory against Veracruz on the penultimate day of the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura), but the team let the three points that would have put them in the Playoff classification zone slip out of their hands, although right now they are in eight place.

Continuance in the classification zone now depends on this Sunday’s match between Cruz Azul and Toluca. A draw would position both teams below Tigres, giving Ricardo Ferretti’s team control over their destiny on the last day against Cruz Azul at Estadio Azul.

Even if Cruz Azul wins, Tigres would still have a chance if they achieve a victory in Mexico City, while with a Diablos triumph, the felines would need three points and for Toluca to lose against Rayados.

The felines came out onto the pitch with the classical lineup they have used across the season, with Jürgen Damm and Javier Aquino as fullbacks-midfielders at the front, and Rafael Sobis further forward, accompanying the French player, André-Pierre Gignac.

Tigres did their best right from the kickoff, moving forwards in keeping with their style and sought opportunities in the Veracruz goal area as of minute 2, through Rafael Sobis, followed by another shot from André-Pierre Gignac who was also unable to find the opponent’s net.

The Brazilian Sobis attempted again at 9’. With a pass from Javier Aquino on the left, the South American advanced slightly to shoot with a half turn that went over Sergio ‘Matute’ García’s goal.

Rafa appeared once more, endeavoring to take advantage of a rejection by the defense in the area, but volleyed the ball over the net; at this point, there was only one team on the pitch.

After 22 minutes of play, Tigres was still practically the only team on the pitch, and up to that moment, Veracruz had enjoyed just one opportunity through Juan Albin, in a counterattack by three sharks against two felines, but he was unable to use this advantage and the ball landed in Nahuel Guzmán’s hands.

At 27’ Sobis yet again had another opportunity with a cross from Damm on the right, that landed on his chest and he lowered it but his shot missed the mark, rebounding off Gignac, and in a counter-shot the Brazilian sent the ball over the crossbar in what appeared to be the most dangerous opportunity for the UANL team.

Guido Pizarro tried his luck outside the area with a ball sent back by Aquino, and his shot was well placed, forcing ‘Matute’ to make a great save to put a stop to the goal that the fans had already begun to celebrate.

Not long after, Tigres had to make a change to the original eleven, at minute 37, when Damm was injured by the Veracruz goalkeeper and Damián Álvarez came out onto the field. This substitution led to an adjustment in the players’ positions, with Aquino moving to the right to leave the Argentine on the left.

It didn’t take Damián long to get fired up and at the 42-minute mark, he sent a long cross into the goal area where Gignac was on his own, but his header went wide, leaving the cry of goal in the throats of the supporters at the Universitario Stadium.

At 47’, Pizarro had another opportunity to score after receiving a backwards pass into the area, but his shot wasn’t even close to the Veracruz goal.

The first half ended without goals, but with the feeling of a Tigres on the attack, attempting every type of play possible, though unsuccessful in finishing in order to send the ball into the back of the net.

Ricardo Ferretti decided to make a change right from the beginning of the second half, sending Fernando Fernández onto the pitch, substituting Jesús Dueñas, who had already received a yellow card. This movement sent Sobis back as a midfielder, leaving the Paraguayan at the front together with Gignac.

Fernández had his first intervention at 47’ when he crossed the ball into the six-yard box to the French attacker, who attempted to score with a defender close by, but his header went over the Veracruz goal.

Five minutes later, a cross Aquino into the area led to a shot by Sobis, but the visiting goalie made another spectacular save to the right-hand side of his foal to stop the Brazilian’s header.

The match slowed down with Tigres trying hard but lacking depth. In fact, at 67’ Veracruz sought to take advantage of a breakaway, sending a shot that hit the base of the left post, thus failing to finish the visitors’ most dangerous play so far in the game.

After a period of playing far too long in the midfield and without any options for the felines to approach the opponent’s goal, at 85’ Aquino crossed a ball from the right that Fernández controlled with his chest and then immediately attempted to shoot, resulting in another save by the Veracruz goalkeeper, with Gignac sending the deflected ball off the pitch.

Juninho had yet another opportunity at 87’ with a fantastic ball from Aquino which left him on his own in front of the goal, but his weak shot went wide of the right-hand post of the Tiburones’ goal.

As of the 93-minute mark, Tigres did their very best to rev up the match with the team on the attack, to the extent that even Nahuel Guzmán advanced to attempt to take a shot from a corner that could have given them victory, but he was unsuccessful. In this match, the felines lacked accuracy and were unable to take advantage of the opportunities that would have given them the possibility of guaranteeing their participation in the Playoffs.

Right now, the point earned gives Tigres a total of 21 units, placing them momentarily in eighth position and inside the Playoff classification zone, though having to wait for the Cruz Azul vs Toluca result this Sunday. The best outlook for the felines would be a draw, which would assure their spot in the classification zone.

LINEUPS:

Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán; Israel Jiménez, Hugo Ayala, Juninho and Jorge Torres Nilo; Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas (Fernando Fernández 46’), Jürgen Damm (Damián Álvarez 37’) and Javier Aquino; Rafael Sobis (Lucas Zelarayán 60’) and André-Pierre Gignac.

Veracruz: Sergio García; Jesús Paganoni, Leobardo López, Horacio Cervantes and Carlos Calvo; Gabriel Peñalba, Hugo Cid, Fernando Meneses, Gerardo Lugo (Cristian Martínez 55’) and Daniel Villalba (Luis Martínez 78’); Juan Albin (Rodrigo Noya 91’)

There is no tomorrow, Tigres has to defeat Veracruz

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Friday, April 29, 2016.- The Playoffs are still within Tigres’ reach. Nevertheless, first of all they need to show their authority this Saturday at the Universitario Stadium by winning the match against Veracruz, which would enable them to improve their position in the General Table and, consequently, become one of the eight contenders for the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura) title.

The felines currently have 20 points and are in ninth place in the table, just a single point behind eighth place, and if they earn three points they can aspire to the sixth position with the right combination of results on the penultimate League fixture.

Veracruz no longer has any possibility of participating in the Playoffs and can just hope to improve their position in the tournament, while Tigres is fighting for a place in the Quarter Finals, with just another match to go after this one, playing away against Cruz Azul.

Both the match record and the home stats against the Tiburones Rojos favor Tigres, since out of 15 games played at the Universitario, Ricardo Ferretti’s team has won 10, drawn 3 and lost just 2, with a positive goal difference of +13.

Tigres has triumphed in the last four matches against Veracruz, with three goals in two matches and one in each of the other two, so the statistics appear to give the felines the advantage.

A spot in the Playoffs will belong to Tigres if they win and any of the three teams in 6th to 8th place in the General Table draw or lose, because even if there is a point tie, the best goal difference would give the felines the edge.

Finally, the French player, André-Pierre Gignac, will continue in his endeavor to finish the tournament as the top individual goal scorer.  Right now he has 11 goals, the same as in the previous season, which is two more than his closest rivals.

This Saturday it is Tigres’ turn to win and they cannot fail; their energy is fully focused now solely on the League tournament.

MATCH RECORD AGAINST VERACRUZ

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES32166105441+13
VERACRUZ32106164154-13

MATCH RECORD AGAINST VERACRUZ AT THE UNIVERSITARIO STADIUM

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES1510322915+14
VERACRUZ1523101529-14

I trust my teammates to death.- Nahuel Guzmán

APODACA | Tuesday, April 26, 2016.- The Tigres goalkeeper didn’t hesitate at all when he was asked by the media: “What are your expectations for this trip?”. Nahuel Guzmán smiled and answered, “The best”.

The felines will be competing this Wednesday at 8:45 p. m. on the pitch of the Azteca Stadium in the Second Leg of the Concacaf Final, with the disadvantage of a 2-0 aggregate score and with the hope of turning the result around.

“I trust my teammates to death, in the work we are capable of doing in this second match. I think that regardless of the fact that the result depended on us, on the good and bad things we did, I believe that we were in control of the match and it is very important to achieve this again. But I am absolutely confident that the team is going to turn this situation around and strive to achieve the objective,” explained the Argentine goalkeeper.

Nahuel thinks that América might resort to the same strategy as the one they used in the first leg of yielding the possession of the ball to the felines and keeping the forwards’ position back in order to turn them into defenders.

“What happens is that very often an advantage can become treacherous, figuratively speaking, because perhaps América will yield the possession of the ball a bit more and I don’t think that’s such a good idea, especially in their own stadium. But sometimes, because of the result, from the beginning, we will be willing to position the team in their half of the field, trying to play as far away as we can from our goal and to shorten the distance as soon as possible.

“We’ll see how the game unfolds in the first few minutes. We aim to perform with intensity, with depth, to try to play in their half of the field. Obviously, since we are aware of América’s potential, we have to go all out right from the kickoff, so we will be doing our very best during the 90, 95 or 120 minutes that the match might last,” he commented.

Finally, Guzmán affirmed that he hasn’t noticed any pessimism in the Tigres fans regarding this second leg of the final; on the contrary, he says he has heard only positive comments and received many kind, encouraging words about returning with the Concacaf Cup.

“I personally haven’t seen anyone who is pessimistic; everyone is confident that the team is going to turn the score around, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered to come all this way or to support us in the training sessions. Everyone who has approached us has shown how eager they are for the team to turn the score around, to triumph and also to classify to the Playoffs,” he said.

A celebration for over 8 mil 500 ‘Incomparables’

GUADALUPE | Monday, April 25, 2016.- In a celebration organized by Tigres for children in their special month, over 8,500 fans took part in the Incomparable Tiger Day at the Bosque Mágico theme park, where they were able to meet some of the members of the team that is competing in the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura).
From 14:00 hours to 19:00 hours, the mini ‘Incomparables’, as the Tigres fans are known, celebrated Children’s Day  like real Tigres, participating in training exercises together with Osvaldo Batocletti and players such as Israel Jiménez and Jesús Dueñas.
They were also thrilled to receive autographs from Hugo Ayala, José Rivas, Héctor Mancilla, Jorge Torres Nilo, Manuel Viniegra, among other players.
The kids had great fun having their photo taken with the Champion’s Cup and participating in the live show Mundo Tigre TV, as well as enjoying all the park’s attractions.

While there’s life, there is hope.- Ricardo Ferretti

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Monday, April 25, 2016.- While there’s life, there is hope, Ricardo Ferretti, Tigres’ manager, claimed today, referring to his team’s possibilities of classifying to the Playoffs and of turning the score around in the Champions League Final.

“All of this (the possibility of classifying  and of  being Concacaf champions) is the reason for having this attitude you mention, that should exist, because if we weren’t competing in a Final or we didn’t have any chance of classifying, I think that would be very sad, and then it would be extremely difficult to cheer people up. Nevertheless, we have to show our professionalism and there is hope, while there’s hope there is life, and while there is life, we have to do things properly, ” explained the Brazilian manager.

‘Tuca’ is fully confident that the team will do their very best in the two upcoming League matches and in the Champions League Final, because he knows he has quality players.

“We need to score at least two goals and receive zero (for the second leg of the Final against América) in order to aspire to the championship. This is nothing new – I know it and everyone knows it. With two goals, we tie and then we are capable of playing overtime and a penalty shootout, but we do need at least two goals and zero goals against,” he explained.

He also mentioned that after last Saturday’s match against Santos he had a feeling of impotence with the final score after everything his team did on the pitch. However, he commented that they did improve in several aspects.

“I was partially satisfied with the last game because the team recovered important things, but the result wasn’t in our favor, and this gives us a feeling of impotence. However, we have the basis for what we need to do against América, and, even though every game is different, we just have to work on a few more issues,” the manager said.

The Brazilian also commented that he has a group of professionals who he is sure will recover in the best possible way to face the following matches, even if they have to go to overtime or penalties against América.

“We are professionals and  last week I told them that football is so generous that it puts food on all our tables, and from one week to the next things can change, and, as professionals, we have to recover quickly to face our future commitments,” stated the feline’s helmsman

Club America and Tigres UANL unite with the Confederation to promote diversity on the eve of the 2015/16Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Final

The champion will be crowned in Mexico City, on April 27th

Miami | Monday, April 25th 2016.- The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Club America and Tigres UANL are joining forces on Tuesday, April 26th to send out a strong message on social responsibility focused on promoting diversity and respect, on the eve of the final of the 2015/16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League(SCCL).

Through the power of football, the SCCL finalists will provide an opportunity for children and youth of different ages to participate in an educational workshop aimed at raising awareness about the importance of understanding and respecting diversity and inclusion. The workshop will be followed by a soccer clinic, including activities to improve football skills. The initiative will culminate with a match at the headquarters of each club.

The workshops will be conducted with the cooperation of expert coaches from the Confederation, the clubs and the global organization The Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVP), which promotes inclusion, peace and respect through sport.

The clubs’ initiative is related to the CONCACAF “Embrace Diversity” program and Liga MX’s “Abrazados por el Futbol” campaign.

The Confederation launched its “Embrace Diversity” initiative in 2013 to promote integration, equality, respect and fair-play through football.

On this occasion, Mexico’s football family, as the host of the SCCL final, is uniting with the Confederation to promote a common cause through the “Abrazados por el Futbol” campaign. This recently-launched initiative is a collective effort aimed at encouraging respect toward others.

The 2015-16 champion will be determined in Mexico City, on April 27 at 9:45 PM ET, at the historic Estadio Azteca. The winner of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions earns the prized ticket to the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016.

The Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League is the region’s most important club championship, disputed among the club champions of leagues from around the CONCACAF region. The tournament begins with a group phase, followed by a three-round knockout phase.

Tigres, out to improve their position in the General Table

TORREÓN | Friday, April 22, 2016.- Tigres needed a win last week to position themselves in the classification zone … and they did it! Now, this Saturday, they need another three points against Santos Laguna to stay there and even improve their current eighth place in the General Table.

The felines are coming to this match with 20 points, the product of 5 victories, 5 draws and 4 defeats, while Santos Laguna has just four more points than this Saturday’s opponent and are currently in the fifth spot in the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura). The destiny of both teams is in their own hands.

The Guerreros are normally a challenging rival for Tigres, so much so that the last 11 matches played between both teams have ended in 8 draws and 3 wins, with the scales tipped in Santos’ favor.

The UANL team has not been able to beat Santos Laguna since the 2011 Summer Tournament (Apertura) Final, when they defeated them 3-1, so they certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend at the Territorio Santos Modelo sports complex.

For Day 15, Tigres has the chance to climb up to 6th position, which is currently held by Morelia with 22 points. However, it is also true that they cannot afford to lose any points, since the teams in ninth and tenth places, Cruz Azul and Pumas, are on their heels with just a one- and two-point difference, respectively.

A player who individually has an advantage over the competition is the Frenchman, André-Pierre Gignac, who is still the top scorer with 11 goals, the same number he achieved in the previous League tournament.  Gignac’s total number of goals wearing the Tigres shirt is 30 (22 in the Mexican League, 4 in Playoffs, 3 in Concacaf and 1 in Libertadores).

MATCH RECORD AGAINST SANTOS

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES631927177781-4
SANTOS631727198177+4

MATCH RECORD IN TORREÓN

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
SANTOS31131264830+18
TIGRES31612133048-18

I can’t reproach my teammates for anything.- Guido Pizarro

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Thursday, April 21, 2016.- After playing the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League Final, Guido Pizarro, an UANL Tigres midfielder, explained that he can’t reproach  his teammates for anything, because everyone  gave their all and he also affirmed that they just lacked decisiveness against América.

“I certainly can’t reproach my teammates for anything and nobody can criticize us because we gave our all, we were in control, we had our opportunities but didn’t finish them. So, whether or not we were wrong or made the right decisions, the team was always on top of América, but they won because of their decisiveness.

“We played a Final just as it should have been played, we didn’t consolidate the opportunities, but we have to keep going, this team has to keep going and persist in aiming to fulfill our highest potential,” explained the Argentine in the press conference after the training session at the Unversitario Stadium.

The ‘Conde’ (Count) defended their manager, Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti, against the criticisms appearing in social media, and stressed that it’s not really fair as the institution has achieved many more things with him  than before his arrival, such as two League and one Cup titles, as well as playing in the Libertadores Cup Final.

“For the past two to two and a half years, (Tigres) has been in the top spots and I don’t know whether this was true before ‘Tuca’ Ferretti arrived, (…) and we have to be fair, which is something I have discussed with my friends and family over dinner or lunch, so we shouldn’t forget the heights to which Mr. Ferretti has taken this team.

“In point of fact, we are the main protagonists, the ones who execute an idea on the pitch, so if we fail to pass the ball to a teammate, that’s our fault and not the manager’s. But I do think we need to be fairer and show respect,” he commented.

Nevertheless, Pizarro is confident that the team has the capacity to turn things around, not just in the second leg of the Final next Wednesday at the Azteca Stadium, but also seeking victory against Santos Laguna in Torreón, which would keep up their hopes of participating in the league playoffs.

“I think that right now we are clearly not at the same level we reached in the previous tournament, but the team is working toward that goal and it would be brilliant if we could get there in this last stretch of the tournament and, God willing,  tackle the playoffs in the best possible way. The team is working hard to achieve and fulfill this,” he explained.

Tigres is receiving América in the First Leg of the Concacaf Final

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Tuesday, April, 2016.- Just four months ago, the ‘Incomparables’ were celebrating Tigres’ fourth League title in Mexican football, and now, once more, they are on the brink of continuing to be crowned with success and realize their dream of going to Japan to compete in the Club World Cup.

For now, Tigres is receiving América this Wednesday, in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League Final to be played in an undoubtedly packed Universitario Stadium, with the fans eager to see the felines giving their very best in order to reach the second leg at the Azteca Stadium with an advantage on April 27

Practically the entire team, directed by Ricardo Ferretti, will be available, with just Jesús Dueñas missing owing to a red card in the Semifinal and his subsequent one-match suspension. However, the players’ spirits are high after defeating the Sinaloa Dorados 5-2 at home.

This will be Tigres’ fifth final in a two-year period, having competed in two League, one Libertadores and one Copa MX final, so the Champions League Final could tip the scales toward yet another title for this current group commanded by ‘Tuca’.

América is coming to the match as the reigning champion of this international tournament, while this is the first time that Tigres will be competing in the Final and with the opportunity to place an international star on their crest and of becoming another Mexican team to represent our nation in the Club World Cup in Japan.

In the Mexican League, both teams have faced each other 47 times at the Universitario Stadium in San Nicolás, with a positive balance for the felines of 18 victories, 19 draws and 10 defeats, and 77 goals for and 63 against.

In the matches held in this edition of the Champions League Tigres can boast an efficiency of 83% at home, while Águilas only earned 50% of the points as a visiting team.

These two teams have competed against each other twice in finals, in the 75-76 Copa Mx when Tigres beat Águilas with an aggregate score of 3-2, and the 2014 Summer Tournament (Apertura), when Águilas won with a 3-1 aggregate, so this Wednesday yet another edition is going to be played, but this time at an international level.

Tigres’ Path to the Final:

Tigres2-1Isidro Metapán
Herediano1-1Tigres
Isidro Metapán1-2Tigres
Tigres0-0Herediano
Tigres2-0Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake1-1Tigres

Tigres is back in the classification zone with a quintet of goals

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, April 16, 2016.- Winning was now or never for Tigres. They couldn’t even afford another draw in this tournament, even less at home, so they decided to play for their lives and delight their fans at the Universitario Stadium with a concert of football that ended 5-2 against Dorados, in which the baton was firmly in the hands of André-Pierre Gignac and Jürgen Damm, who scored a brace of goals each.

This result puts Tigres back in the classification zone, with just three fixtures to go in the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura), and consolidated Gignac as the top scorer with a total of 11 goals, two more than his closest rival.

Just as was promised this week, the match started with a display of energy. Only one minute had gone by when, in Tigres’ first attack and an escape by Javier Aquino, who crossed the ball to the center of the area, setting up an opportunity for Jesús Dueñas, who sent the ball to the left post and Rafael Sobis just nudged it in for 1-0.

However, astonishingly, in the very next play, Dorados drew with a ball lost in the midfield by Javier Aquino, allowing Wilson Morelo to shoot from outside the area and send the ball over Nahuel Guzmán, bringing the score to 1-1.

The intensity never let up from that moment on, despite the 32 degrees centigrade beating down on the pitch at the Universitario. At the four-minute mark, a free kick by Juninho was controlled perfectly by the Sinaloa team’s goalkeeper, Luis Michel. However, just four minutes later, the ball was crossed to Sobis, who, blocked by the goalie, passed it back to André-Pierre Gignac, who headed it in to reach 2-1.

Aquino came back with another attempt at 8’, breaking away down the left, successfully shaking off his mark and entering the area. His cross to the post on the other side Michel, the goalkeeper, was punched out, thus ending the danger.

The felines’ number 20 had yet another opportunity to increase Tigres’ advantage and score his first goal of the match with a header that was deflected by the defense for a corner.

At minute 25, Nahuel Guzmán heroically made a spectacular save with the tip of his left foot in a breakaway by Milton Caraglio, then a mistake in the recovery by Guido Pizarro with a poor backwards pass.

Five minutes later, the referee, Fernando Hernández, decided to send Severo Meza off for bringing Javier Aquino down, leaving Dorados with ten men on the pitch with 60 minutes of play still left to go.

After this red card, if Tigres had already owned the game, they now began to display their full force. In fact, at 37’, Dueñas attempted a shot from outside the area that Michel deflected for a corner. Then, just a minute later, it was Gignac’s turn, though his ball went wide.

At minute 43, in a brilliant play by vino Tigres, which was woven by both Sobis and Israel Jiménez, with a back-heel that allowed the latter player to reach the baseline and cross the ball, as though by hand, to Jürgen Damm, who just had to nudge it into the back of the net, bringing the score to 3-1, which is how the fast half ended.

The second half started with the same men and Tigres following the same script, playing offensively, and at 47’ Gignac, yet again, scored the 4-1 with a ball crossed by Sobis so well that the Frenchman just had to push the ball in, achieving his second goal of the match and eleventh so far in the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura).

Under the battering by the feline whirlwind, Dorados seemed to be giving up, and, at minute 52, Damm connected a center from Jiménez, and kicked the ball into the net, bringing the score to 5-1 which was loudly celebrated across the stadium.

Ricardo Ferretti decided to move his players at 57’, when the team from Sinaloa could no longer penetrate the feline’s territory, taking off Israel Jiménez, who had played a great match with two assists, and replacing him with Lucas Zelarayán who was sent to the midfield and Dueñas shifted to right-hand side.

Three minutes later, another backwards cross by Damm from the right reached Gignac’s right leg, and the Frenchman volleyed the ball, crashing it into Michel’s crossbar.

Dorados weakly attempted to advance in order to gain an opportunity to reach the feline’s goal-line and, at 67’, managed to score with a free kick taken by Jairo González that no one was able to stop before it went into the back of the net, surprising Nahuel for the 5-2.

Tigres were in sync on Day 14 and managed to both delight and win, displaying their superiority on the field throughout the match, leaving the Dorados, who only tried hard in the first few minutes, high and dry and condemning them return to the Second Division.

The felines will now be preparing for the midweek match against América in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League Final, pursuing their first championship in 2016, which would take them to Japan to compete in the Club World Cup.

LINEUPS

Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán; Israel Jiménez (Lucas Zelarayán 57’), Hugo Ayala, Juninho and José Rivas; Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas, Jürgen Damm and Javier Aquino (Damián Álvarez 73’); Rafael Sobis and André-Pierre Gignac (Héctor Mancilla 78’)

Dorados: Luis Michel; Jesús García (Jairo González 46’), Severo Meza, Néstor Vidrio and Daniel Arreola; Javier Salas, Jesús Angulo (Jonathan Lacerda 35’), Fernando Arce and Yimmi Chará; Wilson Morelo and Milton Caraglio (Carlos Pinto 56’)

Referee: Fernando Hernández Gómez

We want the fans to enjoy Tigres again.- Rafael Sobis

ESCOBEDO | Friday, April 15, 2016.- Rafael Sobis isn’t concerned anymore. He knows that football is based on confidence that is built up week after week and, therefore, he expects that as of this Saturday’s match, against Dorados, all the fans will be able to enjoy the victorious, dominant Tigres they were used to seeing not long ago.

“This isn’t our best moment, but we know that football is about confidence and as soon as the confidence is there, the Tigres everyone was used to seeing will be back. It’s not easy to maintain a top level throughout the season, with so many matches, with everything we are playing, but we are determined, training extremely seriously, continuously endeavoring to improve to achieve the level we have always enjoyed,” explained the Brazilian forward.

Rafa commented that the four remaining games in the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura) have to be played with the same intensity as a Final. In fact, he went so far as to say that it doesn’t matter which place they classify in, as long as they participate in the Playoffs, because that’s a completely different competition.

“Earning a spot in the Playoffs is what’s important, because what comes next is another tournament, another way of competing. I’ve had the experience of being the top team and then losing against eighth place; of being in fifth or sixth position and being the champions. So we know full well that it’s another way of playing; there are two matches, regardless of your position. We want a spot in the Playoffs,” he declared.

He also mentioned what would happen if the team wins their ticket to the final phase: “People know the team we have and if we get in, we will be very strong.”

Moreover, Sobis indicated that they are expecting a difficult match against Dorados, who, given their position, are facing a real possibility of relegation; however, they know they have to win those three points at all costs.

“We are in good spirits and can’t wait to play. At the beginning of the week, we found it hard because of the result (against Tuzos); it wasn’t what we wanted and time is flying by. We’ve started to trust in ourselves, we’ve started to work, to do things properly and glimpse on the horizon that things can improve and that it still depends on us. If we do things right, we will be going to the Playoffs and that’s what we are striving for.

“We are expecting a more complicated opponent because they are in the middle of a streak. They are in good form and we are preparing for the match as hard as possible,” he commented.

Tigres receives Dorados with their minds focused on winning

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Friday, April 15, 2016.- There is no tomorrow. The fight to advance to the Playoffs in Mexican football is extremely close and this Saturday Tigres will come out onto the pitch at the Universitario to fight for the three points that will reassure them in this goal.

Right now, the felines are in ninth place in the 2016 Winter Tournament, just one point away from the eight spot. However, a victory and a combination of results could move them up to the sixth position, with just nine points left to be disputed.

Since Dorados returned to the first division, both teams have faced each other just five times, with a balance of two triumphs for Tigres and three draws. Interestingly enough, the felines’ two wins were both accomplished in San Nicolás with scores of 1-0 and 3-1.

Their last match ended in a goalless draw at the Banorte Stadium, but today this result would be of no use to wither team, so it will undoubtedly be a very different match at Tigres’ home.

Dorados hasn’t won as a visiting team in this tournament, with the five matches played away from their stadium resulting in only a couple of draws, while the felines can boast three victories in San Nicolás, two ties and just one defeat.

Another noteworthy factor is that the top scorer of the tournament with nine goals, André-Pierre Gignac, will be facing the second worst defense in the championship, with 24 goals against.

Tigres needs to win and this Saturday must be the start of their comeback in the tournament, in which their classification to the playoffs is solely their responsibility, because the last two matches are against teams that are higher up the table and Tigres stands a good chance of overtaking them: Santos and Cruz Azul.

MATCH RECORD AGAINST DORADOS

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES523085+3
DORADOS503258-3

MATCH RECORD AGAINST DORADOS AT THE UNIVERSITARIO STADIUM

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES220041+3
DORADOS200

We are going to reverse the situation.- Guido Pizarro

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Thursday, April 14, 2016.- At Tigres, we have a sense of pride and are aware of the responsibility of classifying to the 2016 Winter Tournament Playoffs, assured Guido Pizarro, the felines’ midfielder, who was also quite certain that in order to win the three points this Saturday against Dorados, they need to be intense and decisive.

“I truly hope we win the three points. We are coming from five matches without a victory and that isn’t normal for us, since we are used to being at the top, which is good, and this hurts us. We have a sense of pride and are aware of the responsibility of reversing this and hope to warn three points on Saturday.

“(We have to) play well, we need to be intense. Without intensity, you can’t win and with intensity you are the same as any other team, so we have to do our best to be intense again, to be decisive, because it’s going to be a tight match and I hope we will come away with three points,” explained ‘el Conde’.

The Argentine knows that the match against Dorados will be very complicated, because a team that is in danger of relegation always plays with an intensity that is different from that of other squads. However, I know that the need to earn three points will be the energy that inspires the home team this Saturday.

“Every match, especially with people who are fighting against relegation and know that these are the last dates, makes them go the extra mile, but they are playing to avoid relegation and we are essentially playing to win a place in the Playoffs and if we don’t get those three points, we are practically out,” he said.

Pizarro didn’t want to attribute the last five matches without a victory to bad luck and explained that this streak is the result of something in which they have fallen short.

“It’s not a matter of luck, but everything is a consequence of the things we do. When everything was going well, it was a consequence of the things we did and now, with five winless games, we are undoubtedly doing something wrong. But the team isn’t tired of working and will be doing their best to turn things around and achieve a positive result. I hope that on Saturday we will play with intensity and be the protagonists again, just like we used to be,” commented Guido.

We’ll be playing on Saturday as though it were a final.- Torres Nilo

Tigres knows the significance of this Saturday’s match against Dorados and, therefore, will be coming out onto the pitch of the Universitario Stadium to play as though they were in a Final, with the same intensity and the knowledge that there is no tomorrow if they want to take possession of one of the privileged spots to be in the playoffs, assured Jorge Torres Nilo, defense for the felines.

“We are truly playing for a place in the final eight; that’s what we want, because this team is designed for that and has the mentality to be there. That’s the mindset we’ll be playing with, we know the difficulties involved, but all that matters to us is the playoffs.

“What matters to us (right now) is the match against Dorados; the truth is that it’s still up to us. We’ll be considering it as a Final, knowing that they will be coming with the same attitude, so it’s going to be a key match, a life-or-death match for us,” explained ‘Pechu’ to the media after the team’s training session at the Universitario Stadium.

The felines’ left back emphasized that he is quite clear about where the team has gone wrong across these past five matches, in which they have obtained three draws and two defeats, so they have spent this week working hard, especially as they know that the Dorados of today is a much stronger team than the one they faced last season.

“In fact, we have seen Dorados and it’s a different team from the one that played the last tournament, with more dynamic players, so it won’t be the same Dorados we faced last season. Even though they have had a complicated season, it’s not a team that plays poorly, so rather than focusing on them in particular, we are addressing and working on what we would really like to do this weekend.

“There are several things we’ve been addressing during training; we know what needs to be improved and those are the things we are aware that we haven’t been getting right, so we are concentrating on them and hope that they won’t happen again,” he commented.

Finally, ‘Pechu’ pointed out that the key factors for achieving a positive result this Saturday will be perseverance and patience, as well as maintaining a balance on the field.

By digging deep, we’ll get ahead.- ‘Tuca’

ZUAZUA | Monday, April 11, 2016.- Ricardo Ferretti doesn’t deny that Tigres is going through a rough patch in their game, making their classification to the playoffs complicated. Nevertheless, he is confident that the team can improve and get back on track, because whether they classify or not depends entirely on them and nobody else.

The felines lost their last match against Pachuca, which sent them down to ninth place in the General Table, one position outside the classification limit, but there are still 12 points left to be earned and the possibility of participating in the highlight of the tournament once more.

“Saying that we are not concerned would mean we have no sense of pride, but we are worried and know that we have to dig deep and improve our game. Everyone feels the same, not just me.

“So, we hope that with this awareness and hard work, we will be able to get back on track, especially in the League. If the season were to end right now, we wouldn’t be in the playoffs, but we still have a big opportunity, which depends totally on us,” explained the Brazilian manager.

‘Tuca’ acknowledges that the team is set up to offer better performances, but football-related circumstances have prevented us from achieving the necessary results.  He clarified that he cannot reproach his players for a lack of spirit in the match against Pachuca, but the other team simply played better than the felines.

Regarding the points needed to classify to the playoffs, the manager stated that he’s not going to start doing the math, because he is focusing on winning the three points in the upcoming game, and reiterated that the fatigue the team is displaying is emotional rather than physical.

“I think that (the fatigue) is more on the emotional side than the physical; very often, physical tiredness, with a proper recovery program consisting of physical, technical, tactical work, is easier than getting players or the whole team over emotional fatigue. Why? Because the situation inside the League isn’t pleasant at all in the position we are in. Everyone hopes and we ourselves hoped to classify and we aren’t. So right now we need to work more on the team’s state of mind, the physical part is easier,” explained the Brazilian.

Finally, he praised this Saturday’s opponent, the Culiacán Dorados, who have picked up in the League led by someone he considers to be a friend, José Guadalupe ‘Profe’ Cruz, so they know it won’t be an easy match and they will have to give their utmost throughout the 90 minutes of play.

Tigres is travelling to Pachuca focusing on the three points #ELFUTBOLTEMUEVE

PACHUCA | Saturday, April 9, 2016.- After reaching the Final of the Concacaf Champions League and ending their winless streak, Tigres travelled to Pachuca to face the Tuzos on Day 13, and drive their upturn in the League (Liga MX) in order to improve their position in the General Table.

The felines haven’t won the last four consecutive games in the League, with one defeat and three draws, leaving them seventh place. A triumph at the Hidalgo stadium could move them up to fourth position. However, the Hidalgo team is currently in third place, five units away from Tigres with 22 points.

At the moment, in the last six matches between Tigres and Tuzos, the team led by Ricardo Ferretti hasn’t lost, having drawn three and won three. In fact, the last game between them ended 2-1 thanks to goals by André-Pierre Gignac.

It must be said that since 2010, if there has been any player who has got under Pachuca’s skin, it’s the Chilean Héctor Mancilla, who, in three consecutive tournaments, has scored six goals against them, the highest scorer against this Saturday’s opponent.

A tie is most common result in the 43-match record between these two teams, with 18 draws, 14 triumphs for the felines and 11 for Hidalgo, and a similar goal total, 65 over 63, displaying a slight advantage for the team from northern Mexico.

One of Pachuca’s strengths is that throughout the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura), the team has been characterized by having the best offense, with 26 goals, and the best defense, with just 12 goals against. Nevertheless, even though they have scored the most goals as a team, the highest goal scorer of the tournament is the feline’s Gignac with 9 to his name.

This match is of utmost importance for the felines, since, historically, at Pachuca, they have won just three times out of 21 matches. So, this Saturday is precisely the right moment for them to achieve their fourth victory in the Tuzos’ stadium and their fifth in the tournament.

MATCH RECORD AGAINST PACHUCA

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES431418116563+2
PACHUCA431118146365-2

AWAY RECORD AGAINST PACHUCA

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
PACHUCA2110833919+20
TIGRES2138101939-20

Tigres aren’t just happy with reaching the Final, now they want to win it

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Wednesday, April 6, 2016.- Tigres aren’t just happy with reaching the Final of the Concacaf Champions League, now they want to win it, because  they are thrilled by the idea of going to the Club World Cup and representing Mexico, commented Jorge Torres Nilo, a defender for the felines.

“We feel so blessed to be in another Final; we feel so exhilarated, such a sense of responsibility, but not so much about getting to another Final, but rather winning it. That’s what we want this time.

“This is such a great opportunity for us to snatch this tournament and leave it here in the institution. We are thrilled by the idea of going to the Club World Cup and know that (our rival) is an America that is doing very well right now. We know it won’t be easy, but we are confident in the work and in the simplicity of each and every teammate, and, obviously, if we implement this for the good of the team, then the results will be positive,” the defender explained.

However, ‘Pechu’, as he is known, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and explained that although they are grateful for the opportunity to aspire to another title, they must also first respond in the League tournament, since the time left for assuring classification is getting shorter. So right now they are keeping their minds on the match against Tuzos on Day 13 and earning points in Hidalgo.

“We’ve got a very important League match this weekend and classification is in our hands. We know that we have to improve in the League as well and that we will be facing a fine team (Pachuca) that is doing well right now, with good players. We are going to do everything we can to improve,” he commented.

Torres Nilo mentioned, in answer to a direct question, the most outstanding moments of the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League Semifinal played this Tuesday against Querétaro, and emphasized that they didn’t give up when the referee sent Jesús Dueñas off and they were left with just ten men for almost 20 minutes.

“(I would like to highlight) our perseverance and commitment. We played for 20 minutes with one man down and the team never stopped moving forwards, never stopped insisting with the way we play and, ultimately, the conviction we showed was rewarded with the goals. I think it’s important to mention that.

“The truth is that we are a team that strives to do our very best, to not believe that we are the best or the worst, we know we have some work to do and, based on this humility instilled into us by ‘Tuca’ in each training session, the results come by default. There are always things we can improve, but we are where we want to be,” said ‘Pechu’.

A brace by Gignac sends Tigres to their fifth final

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Tuesday, April 5, 2016.- How could we not celebrate, how could we not feel that we are Tigres when the team, playing with just ten men, wins with two goals by André-Pierre Gignac to earn their ticket to the Concacaf Champions League to play their fifth final in a period of just 24 months…. Today the felines showed what they are made of on the pitch.

Tigres fought for over 82 minutes, during which they were able to recover from Jesús Dueñas being sent off and position themselves better on the field, to play their hearts out and show that the current Liga MX Champion is alive and kicking and out to win yet another title.

Apart from the Concacaf Final, in the past 24 months Tigres can boast two League, one Cup and one Libertadores Cup finals, making it clear that this team is armed and ready to fight for the top titles and make history.

Right from when Roberto García, the referee, blew the kick-off whistle Tigres took control of the match, performing their traditional horizontal, continuous-touch play until they achieved the position for an opportunity up front to send the ball into the net.

Javier Aquino almost got the first goal after only four minutes of play, in a center from Jesús Dueñas that hit the second post and was caught on the rebound by the Oaxacan player with a header that went just wide of Querétaro’s goal.

The felines’ advancements were led by Jesús Dueñas and Guido Pizarro, who constantly relied on Jürgen Damm and Aquino along the touchlines, seeking the opportunity to penetrate the opponent’s goal area. In fact, one of these opportunities gave the ball to Rafael Sobis on 10’ who attempted a shot from a distance, though it missed the mark.

At that moment, Querétaro arranged themselves better and controlled the advance of Tigres, who was finding it hard to reach the last third of the field. As a result, the game moved more to the middle zone, making any opportunities unviable.

Neither team was willing to take any risks, making short passes and preventing any advancement from the midfield. Time and time again, Tigres crashed into the defensive wall built by Querétaro, knowing that a goalless draw would send them to extra time.

Play continued in this manner until minute 42, when André-Pierre Gignac attempted a mid-distance shot, though the linesman put a stop to this opportunity by flagging for offside. The match finished 0-0 at half time.

The second half started with the same men as in the first, but in the very first minute, Gignac’s remarkable scissors kick, taken from a center by Sobis,  went over the bar.

The felines seemed to have come out with determination, so much so that at minute 48, Dueñas had the clearest opportunity of the match in a great play by Aquino that left him alone in front of the net, but the reserve hit the ball badly, sending it wide.

The control of the match was one-sided, on Tigres’ side, and at the 53-minute mark Édgar Benítez gave the felines their first scare with a shot that missed Nahuel Guzmán’s goal.

At 60’, Tigres was awarded a direct free kick, taken by Juninho, though it went easily into the hands of Querétaro’s goalkeeper, Tiago Volpi, but Tigres continued trying with ever more resolve, with Aquino becoming the man to take the most risks and generate danger..

Seven minutes later, Guido Pizarro surged forward with the ball well under control from the midfield, brushing past players at the entrance to the area and took a shot, though the ball was unable to go into the net since it lacked precision, but this play was enough to get the Tigres fans, the ‘Incomparables’, leaping out of their seats.

Ricardo Ferretti decided at 69’ to make the first adjustment in the lineup, taking Damm out and sending Damián Álvarez on, so Aquino moved to the right flank and ‘Enano’ to the left, in an endeavor to open up the field more.

Nevertheless, two minutes later, Dueñas was given a second yellow card for holding Benítez when he went into the area and was sent off, leaving Tuca’s team with just ten men and 19 minutes left on the clock, forcing him to make a tactical adjustment by moving Sobis back to the midfield and leaving Gignac alone at the front.

Tigres was not intimidated and at 79’ Aquino entered the area after a pass and just as he was preparing to score, two men came in to sweep the ball but knocked him down in the area, resulting in a call for a penalty though the sweep was aimed at the ball first.

Despite being one man down, Tigres never stopped taking risks, generating dangerous approaches and seeking a goal opportunity, once more with a highly participative Aquino and superb action from Pizarro.

This pressure led the felines to score the first goal of the match in a great play by Israel Jiménez who fought to the end, recovered and passed with a back-heel to Sobis, who went in alone and his diagonal kick landed at Gignac’s feet, with the Frenchman crossing the ball and sending it into the back of the net for the 1-0 at 83’.

With this territorial domination and their spirits lifted, a long pass by Jiménez once more reached Gignac, who got away from two opponents and took the ball into the area, sending it under Volpi and moving the score to 2-0. The French player’s second goal three minutes after the first brought the stadium to a state of hysteria.

With the score in the felines’ favor, several changes were made to refresh the midfield. Sobis, who played such a brave match, left the field, followed by Aquino who generated so many opportunities. They were replaced by Manuel Viniegra and José Torres.

The match ended and Tigres will now be in its fifth final in 24 months, with the possibility of becoming the best in the zone and of travelling to Japan to represent Mexico in the Club World Cup that will be played in in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Line-ups

Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán; Israel Jiménez, Hugo Ayala, Juninho and Jorge Torres Nilo; Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas, Jürgen Damm (Damián Álvarez 69’) and Javier Aquino (José Torres 91’); Rafael Sobis (Manuel Viniegra 90’) and André-Pierre Gignac.

Querétaro: Tiago Volpi; George Corral, Juan Forlín, Miguel Martínez and Jonathan Bornstein; Nery Domínguez, Marco Jiménez (Jaime Gómez 77’), Yerson Candelo and Sinha (Jordi Cortizo 86’); Ángel Sepúlveda (Carlos Fierro 85’) and Édgar Benítez.

Referee: Roberto García

Zelarayán says that Tigres is confident about advancing to the Final

ESCOBEDO | Monday, April 4, 2016.- Tigres is confident that things will improve for the second leg of the Champions League against Querétaro, that they will be triumphant and hold in their hands the ticket to play in the Final, affirmed Lucas Zelarayán, midfielder for the felines, who also clarified that the team will not be abandoning the style of play that led them to with their last League championship a few months ago.

“I think we are in good spirits (for this match) even though we didn’t obtain the result we had hoped for on Saturday. I think we played a good game, we were better than our rival, and we are confident, we trust our team and each one of our teammates, and I hope the match will be in our favor and we will earn a place in the Final.

“These defining matches have to be won because they lead to a very important cup, which would be a historic win for the team. But we don’t want to give up the style of play that has given this team the championship and, even though recently things aren’t going as we would like, we have faith in the idea we have and in what we play. Let’s hope things start going our way, with goals and victories,” the Argentine explained.

‘Chino’ knows that there are still things that need to be corrected in the team’s game, especially since they have been denied a win in the last six games, although, he emphasized, they haven’t lost either.

“We know that there are quite a few things that need to be corrected, since we are not achieving the right results, though we haven’t lost either, so it’s not that bad.  I think we need to improve several aspects, such as finishing properly, which is what we need to do, and, of course, concentrate more when we are defending. I think that if we correct these details, we will be able to make a comeback and begin to win,” said Zelarayán.

The team trained at the UANL Sports Center located in Escobedo, Nuevo León, and Zelarayán mentioned to the media that the team is gradually beginning to feel the effect of playing so many matches, even though there was no pre-season.

The forward clarified that Querétaro will not play as offensively as in the first leg, and will most likely not be willing to risk much and play a tight game to force us to go to extra time and penalties at the Universitario.

“We know them, we have played against them twice, both times as the visiting team, and I think that this is going to change the rival team’s game somewhat, and here they are going to wait and see what we are going to do. I hope they don’t play so far back, because it’s a top-level team with excellent players and they will do their best to keep the ball as far away as possible from their goal and hold us back. We have to be aware of this, handle the ball well, produce a lot of forward movement in the middle of the pitch and generate goal opportunities,” he commented.

‘Tuca’ selected for induction into the Hall of Fame

PACHUCA | Monday, April 4, 2016.- Tigres’ manager, Ricardo Ferretti, was selected for induction into the Association Football Hall of Fame, after a career of 39 years as a player and manager in Mexico and the fortune of winning championships in both roles.

The Brazilian arrived in Mexico in 1977 to play for Atlas, marking the beginning of his long and illustrious career as a player, which also included Pumas, Neza, Monterrey and Toluca, and being crowned as champions in the 1980-81 and 1990-1991 seasons with the Universitarios. In fact, in the latter match, Tuca scored the winning goal against Águilas with a free kick now known as the ‘Tucazo’.

He made his debut as a manager in 1992 and from then to date has continuously led his teams, achieving four championships, two with Tigres and two more with Chivas and Pumas. Ferretti has managed the felines of San Nicolás in three different eras, the last starting in the 2010 Summer Tournament (Apertura) until the present day, winning two Leagues, one Copa MX and runner-up in the Libertadores Cup and the 2014 Summer Tournament (Apertura).

Tigres, with the goal of scoring and winning

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, April 2, 2016.- The game against the Atlas Zorros offers an opportunity for Tigres to fight for the top positions in the General Table and get back on track toward triumph and goals, something they have been denied in the last three matches of the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura).

The felines are coming to the game in seventh place in the tournament, with 16 points and the need to win again, something they haven’t done since day 8, when they beat the América Águilas 4-1 in the Universitario Stadium, the same day from which they haven’t been able to recover the offensive memory.

While the conditions of the rival for fixture 12 aren’t very positive eithersince the Zorros are in the penultimate place on the Table with just 8 points and a losing streak of four matches.

Of the last 11 matches between these two teams, Atlas has achieved just one victory and the felines 6, showing the clear dominance of the team from San Nicolás, which also allowed 4 draws.

In the most recent match, Tigres triumphed 1-0 over the black and reds in the Jalisco Stadium, with a goal by Jürgen Damm, in the 2015 Summer Tournament (Apertura). Coincidentally, the felines were also in seventh place on the General Table when they played that game, while the Zorros were in twelfth.

Tigres has got back several of its injured players for this game, Jorge Torres Nilo, Israel Jiménez, Jesús Dueñas and Jürgen Damm, who are now able to play and were called up to the line-up for the match against the Guadalajara team. However, José Rivas, Rafael Sobis and Fernando Fernández will be unavailable.

MATCH RECORD AGAINST ATLAS

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES772723279986+13
ATLAS772723278699-13

HOME RECORD AGAINST ATLAS IN THE UNIVERSITARIO STADIUM

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES38189115836+22
ATLAS38119183658-22

We are going to get ahead.- Manuel Viniegra

ESCOBEDO | Friday, April 1, 2016.- Tigres is aware of everything they have failed to do in these last three matches, but they also know that the team is capable of getting ahead and back on track in order to remain in the playoff classification zone, stated Manuel Viniegra, midfielder for the felines.

“It’s the most important since it’s the next one (the match against Atlas); we want to win those points to climb as high as possible up the table and get closer to our objective, which is to classify.

“(Our state of mind) is excellent, the team knows what the situation is; we aren’t satisfied either individually or as a group, we are fully aware of our responsibility, but, at the same time, we believe that we will be able to achieve our goal”, explained ‘Kito’ Viniegra.

For Tigres’ reserve player, the two draws and one loss in the last three games were circumstantial and he clarified that they need to find the right keys to open the locks imposed by their opponents when they play at home.

“All of these circumstances have come together. In fact, I would say that the lack of decisiveness or suddenly the opponents themselves play too defensively, which makes for a dull, rough game, that makes it hard to play, but, even so, we have to find the key to open them up.

“These matches have also been difficult for us owing to injuries and external factors that we must learn to assimilate, but, for me, Tigres should be among the first places,” he pointed out.

Viniegra is sorry that a footballer like Rafael Sobis won’t be playing against Atlas; however, he commented that there are plenty of players in the squad who have the capacity to replace the Brazilian.

We are under an obligation to return to the Playoffs.- Jürgen Damm

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Wednesday, March 30, 2016.- Jürgen Damm fully understands that the margin of error for Tigres in the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura) is now minimal, that they must achieve positive results as soon as possible, and, therefore, he is grateful that the team is ready physically to face the upcoming matches. However, he also asserted that, as the current champions, they are under an obligation to classify for the Playoffs.

The felines are going to have two difficult matches running – first they will host the Atlas Zorros in the Mexican League (Liga MX) at the Universitario Stadium with the objective of winning, scoring and improving their current 7th place in the General Table; then, on Tuesday, April 5, they have another decisive match, this time against Querétaro in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League.

“We have to finish the tournament in the best possible way; we know that, as current champions, we are under an obligation to return to the Playoffs and go after the championship.

“We have to bear in mind that these two matches, against Atlas and Querétaro, are going to be a turning point for the following games. We have to earn the points and move up the Table and then, on Tuesday, triumph so we can play in another Final and aim for the Club World Cup,” said Tigres’ right winger.

Damm stated that he is pleased to be back at work with all the team after the muscle issues that kept him away for several games, so he is looking forward to being selected if that is what Ricardo Ferretti needs.

Ferretti hopes to break the goal fast against Atlas

ZUAZUA | Monday, March 28, 2016.- Ricardo Ferretti hasn’t been lulled into a false sense of security over Atlas’s losing streak in the 2016 Winter (Clausura) Tournament. On the contrary, he hopes that the best Zorros squad in the tournament will be playing in the Universitario Stadium this Saturday and that they will be facing the same decisiveness shown by Tigres this weekend in the friendly match against the Águilas in Houston.

The felines’ manager talked to the media after the team’s training session at the Zuazua, Nuevo León, facilities and described how the victory against América, as well as the goals Tigres scored, something that hadn’t been achieved in the three previous matches, has lifted the players’ spirits.

“It’s a team that plays well and even though the results haven’t met their expectations (they have had four consecutive losses), I’m not overconfident. I think they have good players, a good manager and we should be expecting a very difficult Atlas, especially as they have had these two weeks to train. I think it will be a very complicated match.

“What I do hope is that now, in the League, we will have the same decisiveness (as in the match against América) and, as always, maintain the zero goals received. We are also going to do our best to deliver the inertia and confidence gained in this match, even though it was a friendly, when we face Atlas in our next game,” the Brazilian commented.

‘Tuca’ highlighted the team’s efforts against América, and even pointed out that players such as Héctor Mancilla, who scored two goals, and the Paraguayan, Fernando Fernández, made it quite clear why they form part of a team like Tigres, so he urged them to carry on working with the same intensity in order to win a place in the first eleven.

“It happens in every squad. There aren’t just 11 players, but more like twenty-something, and that’s what they are there for, so that you, as a trainer, can choose your eleven and they should work the same as everyone else. Then, when there is an opportunity, they can make the most of it and I think that both Héctor and Fernando are fine players, they belong to this institution and are waiting for an opportunity, and, if there is one, I hope their performance is excellent and that the others do their best to help them,” he said.

Ferretti was asked about the position changes he implemented in the friendly match against the Águilas, placing Manuel Viniegra as a winger and Rafael Sobis nearer the right-hand touchline. He replied that today’s footballer needs to be able to play in at least two different positions.

“In this day and age, if a footballer doesn’t have the capacity to play in at least two positions, it will be very complicated. The only one who can afford to do that is the goalkeeper. The others have to know how to play and, preferably, in several positions; we have always talked about having multi-faceted players,” he explained.

Tigres draw with Puebla

PUEBLA, March 20.- The Tigres UANL were denied a goal, earning one point in the capital city of the state of Puebla, with a 0-0 draw, which keeps them in the playoff classification zone.

The area surrounding the Cuauhtémoc Stadium was a sea of blue and yellow with the arrival of almost 12 thousand ‘incomparable ones’ who had come to support their team.

Manager Ricardo Ferretti’s headaches began three minutes into the game, when Iván Estrada picked up an injury in his left knee and had to be substituted by Antonio Briseño as a defender at 4’.

However, the famous ‘Pollo’ did a good job while he was on the pitch, coordinating brilliantly with Hugo Ayala and Juninho, who can boast their third consecutive zero, including a Concacaf game.

Tigres had several opportunities, although they were competing against a team that never lowered their guard, despite playing the last 21 minutes with ten men after Christian Bermúdez was sent off.

At 21’, Alustiza’s powerful shot was saved by Nahuel Guzmán, making the silent fans break into a cheer.

Rafael Sobis, at the 23-minute mark, responded for our team, with a shot that went over the Puebla team’s goal.

In injury time, Tigres attempted to move forward, but Puebla began to hit harder, earning yellow cards and later on a red card for Bermúdez, at the 69th minute.

Before that, Nahuel saw the ball hit the crossbar of his goal, with a shot by Alustiza at the 48-minute mark. At 51’, Chino Zelarayan matched this attempt, this time with a set-piece that flew just wide of the left post.

Puebla kept on insisting, but Tigres maintained their formation, although they suffered somewhat in clearing the ball. A header by Toledo at 54’ just wide of the left post came as a warning that the ‘La Franja’ (Puebla) players wanted more.

Andre-Pierre Gignac, who will now be forming part of the French National Team, attempted to score at minute 55, but the ball went over the goal.

Later on, at 60’, Nahuel deflected a ball from his goal, saving Tigres. Soon afterwards, Bermúdez was sent off and our team began to take control of the match.

Then, Tuca took Sobis off and replaced him with Espericueta, followed by Briseño to give Fernando Fernández an opportunity. As a result, Javier Aquino, who is also going to play for his national team, played on the right flank.

In this position, the player from Oaxaca had a chance at goal at the 74th minute, with a shot that went wide of the right-hand post, and later on, at 83’, he made his way into the goal area, face to face with Puebla’s goalie, but lost this opportunity.

All things considered, one point is not so bad, especially since it keeps Tigres in the playoff classification zone for the 2016 Winter Tournament.

LINE-UPS

PUEBLA: Cristian Campestrini; Edgar Dueñas, Luis Robles, Christian Bermúdez, Gustavo Alustiza, Oscar Rojas, David Toledo, Flavio Santos (Carlos Orrantia 63’), Ramón Arias, Christian Valdez (Damián Escudero 68’) and Alberto Acosta (Jeronimo Amione 88’).

TIGRES: Nahuel Guzmán; Iván Estrada (Antonio Briseño 4’)(Fernando Fernández 77’), Hugo Ayala, Juninho, José Rivas, Guido Pizarro, José Francisco Torres, Lucas Zelarayan, Javier Aquino, Rafael Sobis (Jorge Espericueta 63’) and Andre-Pierre Gignac.

Tigres wants to recover lost ground in the General Table

PUEBLA | Friday, March 18, 2016.- The 2016 Winter Tournament is entering the final phase and Tigres needs three points in order to remain in the playoff classification zone and, to do so, they will be travelling to Puebla to come out onto the Cuauhtémoc Stadium’s pitch and fight for their fifth victory in the tournament.

Tigres is currently in sixth place in the General Table with 15 points, which represents a 50% effectiveness in the ten games played, but with just a one-point difference over the Camoteros, who are in ninth place, so triumph is a vital factor in the felines’ aspirations.

Ricardo Ferretti’s team is one of the best in the tournament in the defensive area, with a total of 11 goals received, but sixth in the offense with 17 goals, 8 of which are the work of the 2016 Winter Tournament’s top individual scorer, André-Pierre Gignac.

Even though the Puebla team hasn’t lost the four most recent matches in the League, the last three have been draws, while the felines have achieved only five points in the last 15 matches played. Nevertheless, they are only three points behind third place in the General Table.

Of the last six Tigres vs Puebla matches, the felines have lost just one, won three and drawn two, leaving them with a positive balance against La Franja.

An interesting fact for this game is that in the last tournament, in which Tigres were Champions, before the fixture against Puebla on Day 11, the felines had 16 points, just one more than their current total.

MATCH RECORD AGAINST PUEBLA

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES7925282690900
PUEBLA7926282590900

RECORD AT PUEBLA

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
PUEBLA391612114938+11
TIGRES391112163849-11

Victories and classification will soon arrive.- Rafael Sobis

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Friday, March 18, 2016.- At Tigres, we are aware that the 2016 Winter Tournament (Clausura) is entering the most complicated stage in which the teams’ classification to the playoffs is defined, and Rafael Sobis, forward for the Tigres UANL club, hopes they will soon see positive results, because they are creating goal opportunities and it’s just a matter of time for them to be realized.

“We are coming to an extremely important part of the tournament, when many things are defined, and we, comparing this season with the last one when we were champions, have just once point less, so things aren’t as complicated as many people are saying, but we are trying to improve. We will soon reach a better level, the one we are used to, and, consequently, the victories and the points will soon arrive and, as a result, we will be in the playoffs (Liguilla)”, explained the Brazilian.

Sobis talked openly to the media at the Universitario Stadium and clarified that the result of the América match was misleading because of the number of goals, although he pointed out that they deserved better results in the matches against Pumas and Rayados.

“We won the game against América 4-1, which was rather misleading; we know it wasn’t a 4-1 match. Then there were two games in which we did deserve victory and perhaps with a large goal difference. We didn’t have a good match against Querétaro, we are aware of that, we know that it was possibly our worst game of the season and even so we drew.

“We have to continue to improve; I think that even when we win, we have to continue to improve and strive for perfection, which is impossible, but the team is going to grow in the upcoming game,” he said.

The forward said that with the team’s injuries, this is the ideal moment for all the players who form part of the squad to show their worth and help to achieve positive results.

Rafa also asked the Mexican League referees to be stricter in their indications every week, because, with Tigres’ style of play, their opponents sometimes foul too often and are not given a card, prioritizing complaints over aggression.

We are going to put our heart and soul into Sunday’s match.- Viniegra

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Thursday, March 17, 2016.- Tigres has two plans in mind for this Sunday: the first is to put their heart and soul into the match and, the second, is to achieve a positive result that will put an end to their three-game goal drought, affirmed Manuel Viniegra, a midfielder for the felines.

“It’s such an incentive for us (that so many followers are traveling to Puebla), with the situation we are going through and to see so much support from our fans offers extra motivation, and we would like them to know that we will be putting our heart and soul into getting a good result on Sunday.

“I have the greatest confidence in our players; (not scoring) is the whole team’s fault, not just the forwards’ and I am sure that our goalless streak will end in this next match,” commented Tigres’ reserve player.

‘Kito’, as Viniegra is known, claimed that, despite not scoring for three consecutive games, there are no signs of alarm in the heart of the team, because they have been creating goal opportunities and just need to get the ball into the net.

He also mentioned that the absences owing to injuries are the result of the intensity of their game and daily training, and reiterated that the injured players’ substitutes have been doing a good job.

“It is well known that Tigres has a very large squad, there’s no cause for alarm at all; there are players who are doing what is expected of them in the absence of their injured teammates.

“Moreover, (the injuries have happened) because I think that Tigres is an inherently aggressive team and, consequently, so are the players. We endeavor to do our best in every training session, match, or whatever, and I think that’s the reason why there are several injuries,” he explained.

Finally, he praised the work of this Sunday’s opponent in the League, describing them as a dynamic, complicated and dangerous team, so the match in the Cuauhtémoc Stadium will in no way be easy.

We’ve just been unlucky in front of goal.- Fernando Fernández

Fernando Fernández feels that Tigres has just needed more luck to achieve positive results and for the ball to go into the opponent’s goal.

The Paraguayan forward pointed out that the team is reassured that they are creating opportunities, so finishing is just a matter of time.

“I think we’ve been unlucky, because we were scoring so many goals and now we have a goal drought.

“We know that we haven’t scored in the last three matches, though not for want of trying. But we are also aware that we have only received one goal in the same three games and I think that this break will do us good, giving us time to work and the injured players to recover,” the striker explained.

Fernández commented that since his arrival at Tigres, he feels he has learnt a lot from the way Ricardo Ferretti works, and does his best every day to earn a place on the first team.

“I’m working hard for more minutes and to be able to prove what I’m capable of doing and why I am here, but that’s up to the Prof (‘Tuca’), I always pay attention to what’s going to happen.

“In fact, I’m learning at deal here with him, he’s teaching me many things, he’s a manager who talks to us, so I am learning a lot from him,” he said.

Finally, he mentioned that he was very pleased with the idea that so many Tigres fans will be travelling to Puebla to support their team, because they are going out to win and prove that the team is mentally prepared to achieve great things.

“We want to win each and every one of our away games, and this one is no exception. We are going out onto the pitch with our characteristic winning mentality, and it will give us extra inspiration to have such a large crowd supporting us and lifting our spirits up, which is such a great experience for me,” he commented.

Tigres and Querétaro Open the Concacaf Semifinal

QUERÉTARO | Monday, March 14, 2016.- The Concacaf Champions League Semifinals start tomorrow, Tuesday, and  Tigres will have their first test in Querétaro, against the Gallos Blancos, in a 100% Mexican match with a view to the Club World Cup.

Just under a month ago, both teams faced each other on day seven of the 2016 Winter Tournament, and divided up the points with a 2-2 draw in the La Corregidora stadium, the same arena that will witness the first Concacaf Semifinal match.

Tigres has several injured players, such as Jesús Dueñas, Jorge Torres Nilo and Israel Jiménez, who will be missing the match; the former two finished the Pumas game with muscle problems and the latter is still in recovery.

Similarly, Jürgen Damm, didn’t see any action in the game against the Mexico City team since he was still in rehabilitation for muscle problems. However, the manager, Ricardo Ferretti, assured that Damm would be travelling to Querétaro with a reduced team, but with the same idea of doing everything necessary to achieve a favorable result.

The head-to-head record between these two teams in the Mexican League is 22 matches, with 11 games won, 6 draws and 5 defeats for Tigres, taking into consideration the draw in the regular tournament.

The second leg of the semifinal will be held on April 5 at the Universitario Stadium, where the felines will have to complete the formalities to obtain their pass to the Final of the tournament and, in this way, compete for a place in the Club World Cup.

Tigres is mentally prepared to respond in the Concacaf

ZUAZUA | Monday, March 14, 2016.- Tigres travelled to Querétaro with their minds set on playing a good match at the stadium of the Gallos Blancos, which will get them even closer to the Concacaf Champion League Final, affirmed Manuel Viniegra, a midfielder with the felines, who reiterated that the team’s aim is to continue to advance in the tournament.

“We are fully aware of what this match, which is the first leg, means. Our objective is quite clear and we are going one step at a time, first the Semifinal and then we will think about something bigger.

“Any rival is always going to be difficult. There are no easy rivals and even less in a Concacaf Champions Semifinal; all the teams that participate in this competition are the leaders or runners-up in their countries, so it’s true that there are no easy rivals,” said ‘Kito’ after the training session in the Zuazua Cave.

After playing the whole match against Pumas, Viniegra commented that he was pleased to have had that opportunity and, at the same time, far from satisfied because the team was not able to triumph.

Nevertheless, he explained that he feels that the whole squad is committed to achieving the goals that were proposed right from the beginning, with the confidence that their results will improve and will be scoring goals again.

“We are very confident. We are still there in the zone (playoffs classification), we are not satisfied, but we are confident that we can turn this situation around.

“I personally consider that we are playing at a good level, the ball just hasn’t gone in. In the last match, we saw the ball hit the posts, suddenly incredible plays, just like in the Derby. But all we can do is to continue to work together, because we are all to blame, in the good and the bad times,” the Tigres reserve player commented.

Tigres and Pumas Share the Points

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, March 12, 2016.- They tried everything, scissors kicks, mid-distance shots, headers in the six-yard box and even shooting at the Pumas goalkeeper, but they were denied the goals and Tigres finished the game 0-0, rescuing one point, even though they deserved more for their extraordinary effort.

Today, Tigres had to tackle every possible problem, apart from coming out onto the field with a very different line-up from the one they have been used to in the tournament, without Guido Pizarro, without Jürgen Damm and without Israel Jiménez.

So, Ricardo Ferretti decided to start with Hugo Ayala on the right wing, Manuel Viniegra as a midfielder replacing Guido, and Lucas Zelarayán as a right-wing midfielder, substituting Damm.

Tigres’ had their first shot at goal after just three minutes by Rafael Sobis, who made an attempt outside the area, but the ball was deflected by the Pumas defense. In the first few minutes, Ferretti’s players appeared to be more organized in the match and determined to go forward, but they didn’t know that their opponent’s goalie would be having an exceptional evening.

Pumas wanted to respond in the sixth minute with a left pass, hoping to catch the defense off-guard, but the ball was cut off in the area by José Rivas when it was coming in dangerously.

The match slid into clashes in the midfield, with a Tigres on top of its rival, endeavoring to penetrate the defense, but without success. Nevertheless, at the 16-minute mark, in a counterattack by the team from Mexico City, Eduardo Herrera found himself alone, shot the ball and overcame Nahuel Guzmán, but Pepe Rivas never gave up and managed to deflect the ball, which hit the post.

Tigres soon had to make their first substitution of the match, at the nineteenth minute when an injured Jesús Dueñas left the field and was replaced by José Torres to cover the midfield. This disconcerted the local team for a while and some brilliant moments from the current runners-up of Mexican football made them suffer.

Little by little, ‘Tuca’s’ men regained control of the ball and at the 27th minute Zelarayán’s goal attempt was blocked by the defense and afterwards there was an attempt outside the box by Javier Aquino, which went just wide of the right-hand post of the goal defended by Alejandro Palacios.

Minute 36 brought yet another substitution, when an injured Jorge Torres Nilo was taken off and replaced by Iván Estrada, forcing the Tigres’ outfield to rearrange, sending Hugo Ayala he center next to Juninho, moving ‘Palmera’ to the left and placing ‘Gutty’ on the right.

With 42’ on the clock, there was confusion on the field when Zelarayán attempted a shot from outside the box that went wide of Palacios’ goal, without much danger. Tigres appeared to be distracted by the players they had lost to injury and the adjustments made from the beginning of the match.

So, the first half ended with the felines from San Nicolás off balance, having had to pick themselves up from the unexpected, make two early substitutions and adjust.

The second half started with the same men who finished the first 45 minutes on the pitch, and the situation on the field was the same: Tigres was struggling to get close to the goal.

However, the 49th minute brought the best opportunity in the game for Ferretti’s players, with a long pass from Gignac and a precise center that left Sobis alone to take his best shot, but the ball ended up in a Palacios’ hands. From that moment on, Tigres began to put the pressure on the away team, seeming to connect on the field.

Tigres now owned the game, gradually gaining confidence until, at the 55-minute mark, Zelarayán managed a great play in the box that ended with a center shot right to the other side, but in a second play, ‘Gringo’ Torres took possession of the ball, hitting the goalpost.

The cheers of encouragement from the fans in the stadium became even louder, and at the 60th minute, Zelarayán had an unmissable opportunity from a fantastic center by Sobis, but his attempt to head the ball home ended up with a catch by Pikolín Palacios.

The game was now one-sided and Gignac made the crowd jump out of their seats twice, first at 75’ with a spectacular scissors kick in the area that flew over the goal, and just a minute later, the Frenchman’s shot forced the goalie Pikolín to stop the ball just as it was about to soar into the net.

The crowd chanted “Come on Champs” from the stands, and the 83rd minute offered another opportunity for André-Pierre, who gained an advantage by making contact with the ball, but Palacios once more blocked the shot with his body.

‘Tuca’ used up his last substitution four minutes from the end, taking Zelarayán off and sending Damián Álvarez onto the field, moving Aquino to the right so ‘Shorty’ could enter on the left.

Tigres was all over Pumas, trying from every area, but had no luck at the end line, and as hard as they tried, they just could not score.

Tigres earned one point on day 10, reaching 15th position on the General Table.
LINE-UPS

Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán; Hugo Ayala, Juninho, José Rivas y Jorge Torres Nilo (Iván Estrada at 36’); Manuel Viniegra, Jesús Dueñas (José Torres at 19’), Lucas Zelarayán (Damián Álvarez at 86’) and Javier Aquino; Rafael Sobis and André-Pierre Gignac

Pumas: Alejandro Palacios; Marcelo Alatorre, Gerardo Alcoba, Darío Verón y Luis Fuentes (José Van Rankin at 74’); Javier Cortés (Alejandro Castro at 68’), José Ruiz, Ismael Sosa, Matías Britos and Luis Quiñones; Eduardo Herrera (Daniel Ludueña at 87’)

Referee: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre

Tigres and Pumas replay the last League Final

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Friday, March 11, 2016.- This Saturday’s match will bring back pleasant memories for all the Incomparable Ones (as the Tigres supporters are known), as Tigres and Pumas face off once more after the Final of the Summer  Tournament (Apertura) 2015, and will do so in the Universitario Stadium, which since 2010 has become a true fortress for the northern felines.

The representatives of UANL defeated UNAM in last season’s Final. After the first leg in the Universitario Stadium, the local team was ahead 3-0, while the regular match time of the second leg ended with an overall score of 3-3, sending the teams to overtime which ended 4-4, and finally the match had to be defined by a penalty shoot-out with a triumph for Tigres.

Since the Winter Tournament (Clausura) 2010, these two university teams have competed against each other seven times in the Uni (Tigres) stadium, with an overwhelming balance of 5 victories for Tigres, one draw and just one loss. But, the most interesting part of these matches is that they usually offer a good number of goals.

In these same seven games, Tigres has scored 20 goals compared with just five by Pumas. In fact, the last two meetings ended 3-0, reflecting the strength of Ricardo Ferretti’s players in the offense scheme.

Nevertheless, it is very important for Tigres to triumph once more in the Clausura 2016, because places in the playoffs are highly contended this season. ‘Tuca’s felines have 14 units and are fifth in the table, but there is just one unit between the fifth and eighth places.

‘Tuca’ will have to make an adjustment to his starting lineup, since in last week’s match Guido Pizarro received a red card and will not be playing against Pumas after being suspended by the Disciplinary Commission. With the Argentine on the bench, Tigres will be missing one the men with the best recovery skills in the team.

It will also be another opportunity for the French footballer, André-Pierre Gignac, to increase his lead as the top individual scorer, with 8 goals, scoring every 90 minutes on average.

TIGRES V PUMAS HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES91341938131142-11
PUMAS91381924142131+11

RECORD IN THE UNIVERSITARIO STADIUM

TEAMGPGWGDGLGFGADIFF.
TIGRES45287108447+31
PUMAS45107284784-31

We must make the most of Tigres home advantage.- Guido Pizarro

ZUAZUA | Thursday, March 10, 2016.- The Winter Tournament (Clausura) 2016 is still young and Tigres has to realize that it needs many more points to qualify for the Liguilla  playoffs, so this isn’t the moment to lose our cool or get over anxious, but rather to concentrate and make the most of the team’s home advantage, confirmed Guido Pizarro, the Felines’ midfielder.

Since Tigres has earned 7 points of the last 15 it has competed for in the tournament, ‘The Count’ considers that this is the moment to assure another three points, and now that they are going to take on Pumas, he believes that if a few adjustments are made to the game plan and they maintain control of the ball, then they have a very good chance of doing so.

“We are half way through the tournament, so it’s not that worrying, it’s very and there is very little difference in points between second and ninth or tenth place. As the home team, we have to do our best to get the highest possible number of points, but always playing well, trying to maintain the same idea, this is the path that will lead us to highest level,” explained the defensive midfielder.

Pizarro will not be participating on Saturday as he was suspended for one game by the Disciplinary Commission for being sent off during the match against the Rayados of Monterrey. However, the Argentine is sure that his absence will not affect the team.

“We train together every day, and Tigres has a very talented squad, so if (some players), weren’t prepared for such an important team as this one, they wouldn’t be here, so every player is prepared. Everyone wants to do it in the best possible way (substitute him) and the game system is what is most important, and if we control the match then (his absence) will not be noticeable at all,” he explained.

The Argentine also had words of praise for this Saturday’s opponent, since he commented that Pumas will also want to achieve a good result, especially since their starters rested and didn’t travel to Bolivia for their Libertadores match, so Tigres will be on top form.

“I think it’s going to be a good game, it will be difficult since most of the first-team players have been reserved for Saturday’s match, so it will be highly competitive. Their players are very good one-on-one in the offense, so we need to be alert, and, as I always say, try to control the game because that’s what is important,” commented Guido after the training session in Zuazua.

Tigres studies mistakes and strengths in depth.- Torres Nilo

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Wednesday, March 9, 2016.- At Tigres , defeats and victories are studied in depth, either to reach conclusions regarding defeats or to find areas of opportunity in their triumphs that help the team to improve week by week, explained Jorge Torres Nilo, a Feline defender.The ‘Pechu’, as he is known, explained that after each match the team reviews its own performance on both individual and group levels, and they view the next match as an exam that has to be presented to see if they have learnt everything they worked on in the training sessions. “When you don’t win, you start to be more analytical about the things that are happening on the field. When you do win, you try to be more aware of what you need to improve,” Jorge said, “when you suffer a defeat, you have to pay more attention to things such as the goals received or what could have been done to score in the goal area.”Torres Nilo stated that he and all his teammates are aware that they have received more goals than in previous tournaments, so this is a vulnerable area that the whole team needs to work on and improve, not just in the defensive zone. “We know how important it is to receive zero goals and that we need to do more work in this area, not just the defense, but all the players, as a team. At Tigres, we know that we all defend and we all attack, so we are working and concentrating on this,” he mentioned. Finally, the ‘Pechu’ is sorry that Guido Pizarro is going to miss the match against Pumas due to suspension, but he stressed that the gold and blue team’s squad is large enough to have players to take the Argentinian’s place. “Guido is a key part of the team, but there are other players who would like to be given an opportunity to play and will do the best they can, with their conditions, which we know are different, but we have great faith in them. In the end, ‘Tuca’ is the one who determines who is going to play.”

Tigres practice alternatives to contend with closed formations.- ‘Palmera’

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Wednesday, March 9, 2016.- As time goes by, the rival teams have been carefully studying the best way to damage Tigres style of play, but José Rivas, the felines’ center back, indicated that, as a result, the team has had to propose several alternatives to break the defensive barrier that their opponents always create when playing at the Tigres stadium.

“During the week, all the teams prepare, study their opponent, while we have a more academic, so to say, approach, the teams are getting to know as better and better and are aware of our strengths.

“When the teams come to play us here on our ground, they come to close us in, which has made things quite difficult for us. They cover the touchlines more and more, they know our strong points, but during the week we have been studying several alternative plays and we have to be able to neutralize their strategy,” explained ‘Palmera’, Rivas’ nickname.

Nevertheless, Rivas is aware that there is room for improvement in the defense, because keeping the ball out of their goal builds the team’s confidence and helps the offense to work much better.

He also talked about the match against Pumas this Saturday and said that he expects the game to be complicated given the dynamics always in place in the team led by Guillermo Vázquez, although he emphasized the Mexico City team’s wide players.

“The wide players are the most dangerous element in the team. These players are very fast, with good individual skills and are players to watch, but, also, their center forward (Eduardo Herrera) is very good in the air. I had the opportunity to get to know him (in the National Team) and he’s a very good footballer; the team as a whole is very dynamic, very agile, which is probably their most challenging aspect,” he explained.

Tigres wants to get back on track for Pumas

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Tuesday, March 8, 2016.- Damián Álvarez knows that Tigres can’t waste time regretting their loss in the 106th Derby. On the contrary, they need to turn the page and think about Pumas, their rival this Saturday, in order to achieve a positive result that will keep the team in the running to classify.

The felines’ left winger agreed with his manager that this isn’t the right time to lose heart or get worked up about not accomplishing a positive result, because Saturday’s post-game analysis showed them that if they had just been more assertive, the score would have been different.

“Obviously we will be doing our best to get a good result on Saturday, to win, one result always leads to another and, in this case, we are just three points away from second place and just a few points ahead of the teams below us, who are all very close to each other. So, we have to keep on giving all we’ve got.

“We never stop focusing on the idea we have, always beyond the result and what the match meant; we definitely have to keep it in mind and be proud of that so we can move forward undeterred, but without doing just anything, never giving up on the idea and everything we have always done and that has been a success,” explained ‘Shorty’.

Regarding the match against Pumas on Saturday, corresponding to the tenth match date, the Argentinian commented that it is always thrilling to compete against one of the so-called great teams. In fact, he knows that they cannot give them any space, since Pumas will also be coming to the game with the idea of beating Tigres.

“These are always matches with a plus, when you play against the top teams. In this case, they drew their last game and also want to make sure they classify, so let’s hope our game will be fluid in this match, doing what we do best.

“You can’t give a team like Pumas a lot of space. They also have this double competition and could be affected in that sense. Let’s hope we can take advantage of this situation and get back on the path to triumph as soon as possible,” he said.

Damián emphasized that since the team is in top form physically, they should not be affected by participating in two competitions at the same time, the Concacaf and the Liga, and also because they have a large squad.